Chadron State picked up a victory in the season finale on Saturday in thrilling fashion. The Eagles held off Colorado Mesa, 24-17 in overtime. After the Eagles scored, the defense pushed Mesa into a 4th and 14 situation. The pass near the first down marker was broken up and CSC picked up the win.
The real story on the day was the support for Bill O’Boyle, who entered this season as the head coach for the Eagles. After Chadron State self-reported potential NCAA violations O’Boyle was relieved of his coaching duties for the remainder of the season, while the program is under investigation.
The support for Coach O’Boyle in Chadron has been tremendous. There are signs in the front yards of houses, outside of businesses…the signs are everywhere. As CSC closed out its football season there were over 100 fans who showed up wearing green t-shirts with “O’B” written on the front. Players wore wristbands with the same inscription. Some coaches even supported their former mentor with specially made hats. Signs in the stands showed support for O’Boyle reading, “The Has-Beens Have your Back – Coach OB”.
After CSC closed out the victory on Saturday they shook hands with the opponent just like a normal game. What happened next is one of the more touching things you will see in sports. The team left the field out of the Northwest entrance, they usually leave out of the southwest gate. The team began a walk across campus, hand-in-hand. Traffic stopped as a football team crossed the street. As they approached the house of O’Boyle chants of “O’B, O’B, O’B” broke out.
O’Boyle, who didn’t know this was going to happen, came out of his house and burst into tears as emotions for everyone ran high. O’Boyle’s family looked on as they were with him throughout the game, which O’Boyle is not allowed to attend during the investigation process. The coach asked the players to take a knee. With more fans pouring in around the house O’Boyle spoke to the Eagles, hardly able to keep emotions in check.
It’s something you just have to see for yourself.
Watch the video: